1% Thursday: Migraines, Computer Screens, and Headaches

This week: Make peace with your computer screen.

Why is it that migraines, computer screens and headaches seem to go together so often?  Could a computer screen trigger your migraine attack?  Could your screen be causing headaches?

There could be more than one reason that your computer is causing your symptoms to increase.  One of the most obvious is your posture.  If you’re sitting with bad posture, or even with good posture for long periods of time, that’s something that could be making your symptoms worse.

But today we’re focusing more on computer screens.  Words like "eye strain" and "headache" and "migraines" get thrown around quite freely – but lets just say that we want to make viewing the computer screen as comfortable as possible.

  • When you’re sitting comfortably, the screen should be about an arm’s length away.
  • Try increasing the font size if necessary.  This can be done in individual programs, and you can lower the resolution of your screen or increase the font size of icons, etc.
  • Be careful about having your monitor too bright, especially as compared to the light around it.  If everything else is fairly dark, and the computer screen is bright, that could cause issues.  Make sure you’re in a well lit area, and that the screen is about as bright as what is behind it.
  • Be careful of glare.  If there’s glare, either move the screen to avoid it, or use an anti-glare screen or screen filter (here are some filters for computer screens.  You don’t need to pay a fortune, but do buy something that works well for you – this is your health we’re talking about).
  • Be sure you are in front of your computer screen, not looking to one side or the other or up or down.
  • There are also ways to dim the programs you’re working with, or dim items on the internet.  Check out some ideas here.
  • And always remember to take a break every 15-20 minutes.  Free tools such as Workrave are excellent ways to remind yourself to do this.

Migraines? Computer Screens? Headaches?  Hopefully we can stop hearing those words together in the new year.

What is 1% Thursday?

1% Thursday

Every Thursday at Headache and Migraine News (weather permitting) we’ll talk about one measurable, practical thing we can do to make our lives just 1% better.  Usually it will be something very easy, sometimes it will be a challenge.  Let us know if you try it, or share an idea of your own – and maybe a year from now we’ll see that things have really changed for the better!

Special thanks to Safe Computing Tips for their ideas on this topic.

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2 comments… add one
  • laura Aug 19, 2011

    I like this! easy & quick…but please don’t send me mails. I just thought I’d say Thanks.

  • Diana Meredith Dec 20, 2011

    Thank you. That was helpful. I am a migraine suffer-diagnosed with complicated migraines. At the end of tha day I cannot see and migraines kicks in. I have turned down the brightness and contrast on computer screen and close windows in my office to help on glare. I will also try the breaks every 20 minutes.

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